Are You in Love? Are You in Attraction?
What is love? Is it something physical or spiritual? Most people think that love is a romantic concept that involves being smothered or adored by someone. In my opinion, love is much more than this. To better understand love, let us explore what love really is.
Love is a group of feelings and behaviors characterized by emotional intimacy, romance, commitment, and care. However, love can vary tremendously in intensity and can vary greatly within a relationship. In romantic love, one person gives the other person all of one’s attention and focus, while not reciprocating the same feelings. In other forms of loving relationships, one person is highly appreciative of the other person’s good qualities and misses similar qualities in the other person that remind them of loved ones they have lost.
Love differs from friendship in that it is an emotion that expresses a closeness that is intended to last, whereas friendship expresses a closeness that is fleeting. Consequently, a friend will often times say hurtful things about a partner, but will not express similar feelings when they are hurt by a friend. The two types of relationships – friends with benefits and lovers with losses – share similarities in that they are not based on reciprocation of feelings.
Love is a powerful force, as demonstrated in the physical aspect of relationships where one person has the ability to create their own world and another person can only step into it. Love makes a person feel comfortable and safe enough to be themselves, as opposed to uncomfortable and lonely in unfamiliar relationships. The emotional intimacy found in loving relationships is the foundation of all deeper, meaningful relationships. The two types of relationships – partners who are compatible and others who are not – share similarities in that the one who is compatible with their partner’s needs will also find comfort and security in their relationship.
Individuals who base their love on attraction have often been hurt by their partner; consequently, they do not have a secure feeling of intimacy and are more likely to take the easy way out by being hurtful to others. This type of person does not understand the importance of building trust and caring about the other person. The need for closeness is what causes individuals to develop love, not attraction. In order to build a relationship based on closeness individuals need to make an effort to be open and vulnerable with one another. Loving relationships are built on the foundation of the individual’s ability to be self-discerning and to ask others about their feelings.
Individuals who base their love on attraction have never had to make an effort to feel the depth of another’s feelings, which allows them to become easily attached to someone because of the ‘instinct’ they have felt. In addition, when an individual feels compelled to be close to someone, it is very easy to take advantage of the other. Individuals who base their love on feelings have learned to connect with people on an intuitive level. To develop trusting and compassionate relationships that last, you need to focus on developing your feelings rather than your attractions.